Our fast-paced society loves adventure and it loves a hero—but what about Latter-day Saint heroes? Are there any? There are plenty!
Heroes of Faith, True Stories of Faith and Courage, is a collection of twenty-four riveting stories about people who rose above difficulties and impossible odds to emerge triumphant. You’ll read about stalwart men and women who stood firm and valiant in the gospel in spite of dangerous mobs, flying bullets, physical handicaps, extreme hardships, and dictatorial regimes.
It's fascinating to read about the exploits of real heroes and when that hero is acting in accordance with the principles of the gospel, the adventure is not only thrilling, but inspiring as well. In these days of increasing trials and tribulation, we can all use some worthy role models, especially those that strengthen our faith and increase our testimonies.
Q&A with the Author
Did you always want to write books?
I’ve wanted to write ever since I was in elementary school. After two years of college, I got married. When I had children I had to cut back on writing because—let’s face it—you can’t do everything at one time. But I continued writing whenever I could. When the kids were little, I concentrated on writing for magazines Then, as the children got older and I had more time, I started writing books.
How did you learn to write?
Learning how to write is an ongoing process. I’ve spent countless hours on manuscripts that were never published, but I don’t count that as a loss, since it helped improve my writing. I have a bookshelf full of books on writing and every weekday morning, I try to read 2-4 pages. I underline important parts, then type them up, which hopefully, sets the ideas in my brain. When I’m done with the book, I print out up my notes and save them in a master binder so I can look them over now and then.
Are you working on any more non-fiction, and, if so, what? Also, since you also write fiction which do you find more difficult—and why?
I’m thinking about doing a sequel for Gaze Into Heaven, (a collection of over 50 near-death experiences in early church history), which was released earlier this year. For right now, though, I’m working on a mystery. My first novel in the Erica Coleman series, Motive for Murder, was published two months ago. I love writing mysteries, and it’s especially fun to write about a quirky private eye, Erica Coleman, who has OCD.
For me, writing non-fiction is easier than writing novels. Researching takes a lot of time, but I love that part.
Do you have any interesting writing quirks?
Not many. I keep a bowl of dried fruit and candy by my computer. Helps me stay awake and I treat myself after finishing up a section, or revising a chapter.
Once in a while, I’ll put in a CD and listen to “Sounds from the Forest” or “Ocean Waves.” Something that won’t break my concentration with lyrics.
I also have four furry friends who keep me company. I have three cats and two dogs and both dogs and two of the cats follow me around wherever I happen to be working, whether it’s in the family room on my laptop (see picture) or outside in my gazebo. Sometimes it’s nice to have a change of scenery and when the weather is nice, I often go out there to write. My little friends always go out with me and curl up in the shade.
What else have you written?
My first non-fiction book was Latter-day Saint Heroes and Heroines. This book is very similar to Heroes of Faith, in that it is also a compilation of true stories about people in early Church history who risked their life in defense of the LDS Church. My next three books are also compilations of true stories in early LDS Church History, and are about angelic experiences. The first book is, And There Were Angels Among Them. The second book is, Visits From Beyond the Veil, and the third is; By the Ministering of Angels. Researching and writing these books made me realize how much Heavenly Father loves his children and that He is completely aware of us and our lives. I then wrote Brigham’s Boys, which tells the life stories of sixteen men who worked closely with Brigham Young as he brought the Saints across the plains and colonized the Great Basin area.
My first novel, Light on Fire Island, came next and I was so happy when it became a bestseller. My second novel, Motive for Murder, came out in June.
Meet the Author
Marlene Bateman Sullivan was born in Salt Lake City, Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah with a BA in English. She is married to Kelly R. Sullivan and they are the parents of seven children.
Her hobbies are gardening, camping, and reading. Marlene has been published extensively in magazines and newspapers and has written a number of non-fiction books, including: Latter-day Saint Heroes and Heroines, And There Were Angels Among Them, Visit’s From Beyond the Veil, By the Ministering of Angels, and Brigham’s Boys. Marlene also wrote the best-selling novel, Light on Fire Island.
A busy writer, Marlene is set to have three books published this year. Gaze Into Heaven, a fascinating collection of over 50 documented near-death experiences in early church history, was published earlier this year. Next is Motive for Murder, the first in a mystery series featuring the quirky Erica Coleman. In July, Heroes of Faith, a collection of stories about people who risked their life for the gospel, will be released by Cedar Fort Inc.